Good trout habitat starts with a healthy watershed.

usgs-watercycle
http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/watershed/

A watershed is the area of land where all water drains to a single geographical point. The water flowing through vegetation, terrain, and aquifers, functions as a large filtration system and oxygen generator. The problem is it can only filter so much at once before it becomes impaired. It is critical to protect trout habitat; consequently, we are protecting ourselves.

A watershed serves many functions:
• Revitalizes aquifers
• Helps to prevent soil loss
• Reduces fire damage
• Provides vital habitat
• Filters harmful pollutants

P1000187

Because trout cannot live in warm impure water, we can monitor our watershed and use it as a measurement for healthiness. Through continued efforts, we can then maintain or restore these environments to healthy conditions. Indicators, for example; siltation caused by urban development, high acidity from acid rain, and low oxygen levels are examples of the factors observed to that tell us things are not right.

More information:
Wadeable Streams Assessment

http://water.usgs.gov/wsc/watersheds.html

A Quick Guide to Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters — May 2013 (PDF) (39 pp, 2.5MB)

Top 10 Watershed Lessons Learned

http://water.epa.gov/learn/kids/fishkids/index.cfm

http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/kids/index.cfm